Lance Franklin spreading the word on indigenous issues

Franklin has been an on-field leader since he arrived in Sydney but now he’s ready to step up off the field.

LANCE Franklin was so affected by the Adam Goodes booing saga that he’s determined to make his voice heard on indigenous issues.

Franklin will play a major role in the Swans Reconciliation Action Plan (RAP), which promotes indigenous cultural awareness at the club.

The Goodes issue has left a lasting impact on the Swans, and club chief executive Andrew Ireland said there remains a minority of fans who have racist views.

Franklin and teammate Dane Rampe will be the player representatives on the RAP committee, which promotes equality and justice for indigenous Australians.

“It was a tough period what he (Goodes) went through last year,” Franklin said as the Swans launched their second RAP as part of NAIDOC week in Hyde Park.

“The legacy Goodsey and Micky O (Michael O’Loughlin) have left the footy club has been huge and has had a huge impact on me stepping up and being on the board.

“I think I can bring a lot to the RAP and to indigenous people coming through.

 “I think it’s really good that the club is trying to employ indigenous people and I’m ­excited by that.”

Goodes took a leave of absence from the game when the booing reignited in the round 17 match against West Coast in Perth.

Seeing first hand the toll the saga took on his teammate also affected Franklin.

“He’s a role model not just for indigenous people but everybody around Australia,” Franklin said.

“Adam inspired all the boys to jump on board (with the RAP), not just the indigenous boys but a lot of the non-indigenous boys. But the staff as well wanted to put their hand up and do something and help their people.”

Ireland yesterday reaffirmed the club’s position that the booing of Goodes over two seasons was racially motivated.

“We have no qualms about the fact that the booing at the time was racist,” Ireland said.

“On the ground our players think they are in a safe ­environment from comments from other players.

“When you look at our game, it’s a microcosm of Australia. There are people who had a view that Adam as a proud indigenous person and Australian of the year didn’t have a right to have a say about how he saw the country. If there was any ­benefit in what happened to Adam, it showed we have an awful lot to do.”

The Swans have been the AFL leaders in indigenous ­relations and are the first to have all their players and staff participate in cultural awareness programs. They also ­employ indigenous staff in their commercial division and coaches in their academy.

The Swans launched their first RAP in 2014 and vowed to go further with their second, which starts today by increasing the businesses in the supply chain, increasing the number of indigenous staff to 3 per cent and continuing the Goodes-O’Loughlin foundation.